Jun 1, 2020 at 1:48 pm #3650428
I just got back from my first bikepacking weekend in a couple of years. I want to lighten my load a bit. I’m currently over 70 lb for the loaded bicycle!
I divided most categories into what was used or not used during this trip. Some of the stuff I didn’t use I’ll still take on future trips, but 6.5 lb of unused things should tell me something.
None of my equipment is really light, but I’d like to know where I can start and get the most savings per dollar.
I used a Hennessy Hammock. Since the temperature was expected to be 48 °F (9 °C) overnight, I took a pad, which made me plenty warm. My sleeping bag is a Coleman Peak 1 over 20 years old. I think it’s a 45 °F rated bag. I actually don’t sleep that well in a hammock, but this campsite was ideal for it, and it was the lightest option among what I own. I’d rather be on a pad in a tent.
The tent I own but didn’t use is a 1-person Eureka that weighs 4.5 lb including stakes.
I know my bike could be lighter, but I’m not changing that. It has integrated generator powered lighting front and rear and can also charge my phone when not running lights.
I’ll be taking a fleece next time instead of the heavy wool sweater.
We ended up eating at a restaurant, so two meals unused.
I probably could have rinsed the jersey in the evening and not had another for the next day.
Thanks for any suggestions!
Here’s a photo of three of us. We were a group of 5 with a 6th who biked up separately. I’m the one with my back to the camera and the bright green panniers. The other guys claimed they were at 50 lb, but their bikes felt as heavy as mine when I lifted them. I didn’t seem to have a bunch of extra crap compared to them. I had no trouble keeping up.Jun 1, 2020 at 2:26 pm #3650430
Some more info.
I am about 160 lb (72.5 kg) and 5’9.5″ (1.76 m) tall.
I’m shooting for being good down to about 45 °F (7 °C.)
My next trip is planned for two nights in September. Friday afternoon 50 miles, camp. Saturday 60 miles, camp. Sunday 65 miles home.
I will definitely be moving some load from the back to the front. I had a really annoying shimmy on this trip when on asphalt, that completely disappeared when on gravel.Jun 1, 2020 at 11:07 pm #3650501Alex WallaceBPL Member
@feetfirstLocale: Sierra Nevada North
Thanks for sharing, Andy. I bike a lot (road for commute, gravel for fun with my oldest son, bmx because I’m testing fate…and my insurance policy). I also backpack a lot, so it seems like these hobbies should have converged by now. Why not, I don’t know. What I do know is that they should and reports like yours stoke the idea. One day…Jun 2, 2020 at 8:26 am #3650533
I found this report from the ACA (Adventure Cycling Association.) They weighed touring bikes as they passed through their headquarters.
Lightest: 50 lb
Majority: 70-95 lb
Heaviest: 170 lb (including a trailer)
So although I’m on the light end of that at 71.5 including water, this was just an overnight trip. I’d like to set a goal of under 50 lb.Jun 2, 2020 at 1:20 pm #3650562
I’ve made a new tab in my spreadsheet called “Weight reduction” replacing some of the heavier items with newer, lighter ones. So far down to under 62 lb but at a cost of ~$1100. The Ortlieb panniers and rear rack are 5.6 lb together. I think I need to look at what I could fit without those heavy items. I’m using Bikepacking.com as a source of ideas.Jun 2, 2020 at 2:09 pm #3650567Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I do some bikepacking. For the most part, the gear one uses for backpacking can be used, and many here backpack with a base weight around 10lbs including a pack, which is fairly comprehensive gear-wise. The exception is one needs some bike-specific items, such as tools and more weather protection.
I haven’t bought any bike-specific camping gear at all, I use my lightweight backpacking gear.
Some backpacking gear isn’t needed, like a compass. I don’t bring a phone backpacking, but I do when biking. However paper maps are just fine, since I’m not going to get lost on a road. I don’t need the phone at all unless I’m need to call someone for help, so no charging devices needed either.
A large pyramid shelter, like a Black Diamond Mega Light can be had for under $250 and there is enough room to keep your bike inside at night (out of sight from other people). Some people buy pyramids with a 1/2 net inner for bug protection, which still leaves room inside for gear and bike. I normally don’t use a shelter unless it rains.
There are plenty of backpacking gear lists here on BPL that should suffice for what you need. The real low hanging fruit is to leave stuff you really don’t need at home.Jun 2, 2020 at 2:16 pm #3650568
Note to everyone, if you open the spreadsheet, ignore the tab it opens to, “List”. That was ideas and planning, not representative of what I took. The second and third tabs are the relevant ones.Jun 2, 2020 at 2:35 pm #3650571
I hid the irrelevant tab to eliminate confusion.Jun 2, 2020 at 2:46 pm #3650572Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Some of the stuff on your list I’m not familiar with, being I backpack or camp far more often.
I have front and rear panniers, a handlebar bag and rear rack bag. Sometimes I leave the panniers at home and strap stuff to the two racks. I always keep the front bag, which I can remove and carry with a strap, and it is so handy when I stop, even if I stop to look at something and don’t get off the bike. It is all dependent upon how long I’m going and what the weather forecast is.
Do you need underwear or camp shoes? I don’t use clip-ons, and use my trail runners for riding and camp shoes. I don’t take underwear. I sleep in my bike jersey. Around camp, if it is chilly, I wear my bike clothes and the only camp clothing I bring is a puffy jacket. My bike clothing includes a wind shell and a rain shell.
I never take a headlamp, because I can remove the bike headlight and use it as a flashlight. I never take a chair backpacking or bikepacking, although it would be “nice.” If I spend the night at a campground, there is a picnic table. A tree and my NeoAir make a nice chair.
Look to turning things into multiple use items.
Again, I have little expertise in bikepacking, and the bike is just my frame for my normal backpacking gear. I think my bike weighs right at 30lbs. I haven’t weighed racks or bags, because when I need them, I need them. For what a do, and extra 5 or 10 lbs probably won’t make much difference, but I do work to minimize how much gear I bring on any trip.Jun 2, 2020 at 5:57 pm #3650596David MorganBPL Member
You might consider shaving off some weight by replacing your Coleman sleeping bag with an REI Magma 30 quilt or sleeping bag. You can wait for a 20% off sale and you’ll have a quality bag for a great price. If you went for the quilt, that would take you from a 43 oz sleeping bag to a warmer 17.5 oz quilt. There are other great sleeping bags/quilts out there too, but this is one I have positive experience with for the price.Jun 2, 2020 at 7:13 pm #3650612
Thanks for the recommendation. I’m leaning toward a quilt.Jun 6, 2020 at 5:20 am #3651293Link .BPL Member
. HERE is a general list I link for newbies on lightening your load with lots info including doing it cheaply, For some reason in my newbie help link the Oregon Field Guide Ultralight Hiking video link is down so if you want to watch it(it is worth watching) HERE is another link for you so you can( it starts 8 min 30 sec. into the episode). You should be able to transfer a lot of the info to bikepacking . THIS is the BPL BIKEPACKING & BICYCLE TOURING section of the site.
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